This past Tuesday, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors took up the topic of whether or not to declare a shelter crisis in Humboldt County. At least 20 people came, mostly from the HSU Homeless Students Alliance to ask the Supervisors to recognize the well established fact that Humboldt County does not have nearly enough housing to accommodate its residents and workforce, and that emergency measures should be taken to address this problem.
The HSA is just the latest group to ask the Board of Supervisors to make this declaration. Concerned citizens and organized groups like AHHA have been pressing the county about this for years. The Humboldt County Human Rights Commission, after listening to dozens of hours of public testimony on the subject, has recommended that the Board of Supervisors declare a shelter crisis multiple times. The Board of Supervisors has repeatedly ignored them all.
The Board of supervisors didn’t have any problem taking swift and decisive action to address homelessness, when they thought they could do it by passing radical, draconian, and unconstitutional laws designed to criminalize poverty. Clearly the problem was serious enough that they thought it warranted infringing on all of our constitutional rights, but, alas, this punitive approach failed miserably, yet again.
When this policy of unbridled police state fascism failed, the county jumped on the “Mormon Miracle” called “Housing First,” but even the Housing First consultants, who the taxpayers pay to advise our Board of Supervisors, have told them that there isn’t enough housing in Humboldt County to make Housing First very effective. In reality, all Housing First does in Humboldt County is take housing away from working families, and give it to disabled individuals. We need housing for working families, and for disabled people, and we need it all to be affordable.
We have well established organizations with plans and working models, all home-grown, designed to solve our housing problem here in Humboldt County by creating affordable housing that works for the people who need it. They have made dozens of presentations and attended hundreds of meetings about it. This past Tuesday’s BOS meeting was just the latest. What did the Board of Supervisors decide to do about this serious problem at Tuesday’s meeting? They decided to form an ad hoc committee, which allows them to waste everyone’s time and money for another couple of years without doing anything constructive.
If they could have solved this problem by punishing people, this problem would have been solved years ago. We love to punish people here in Humboldt County, and our Board of Supervisors will eagerly implement our most sadistic impulses and write them into law, but we really hate to do anything that makes life easier on people. Most of us are too small-minded to see beyond our own petty resentments, insecurities and greed, and too well programmed by corporate propaganda to think for ourselves. We don’t mind working two low-wage jobs, just to pay the rent, so long as the people who don’t work that hard, sleep out in the rain. We’re literally just that stupid.
Even without a significant racial divide, Humboldt County gives Mississippi a run for the money in the field of bitter small-minded hatefulness. Honestly, I have never heard hatred and bigotry expressed more openly and frequently, against anyone, anywhere, in all my life as I hear it here in Humboldt County, against the poor and homeless. It is, by far, the ugliest thing about Humboldt County, and all of the media outlets here pander to that ugliness and promote it. It’s shameful.
Unfortunately, the American Genocide, extractive industries, and the War on Drugs have brought out the worst in people here in Humboldt County, and attracted the worst kind of people to Humboldt County for longer that anyone can remember. It shows. It shows in ugly attitudes, bitter resentment, and heartless insensitivity to the suffering of others.
We’re not getting anywhere by reasoning with these people. For them, reason is just a tool for getting their own way. They’ll say anything. Lying is second nature to them, and lying to themselves is first. They’ll make sure that the new ad hoc committee on homelessness does nothing but waste time and money for another year or two, while dozens of people die needlessly on the streets of Humboldt County.
We should stop wasting our time with them. Instead, I think we need to take a more revolutionary approach to homelessness. Instead of appealing to the better nature of people who clearly have no better nature, we should focus directly on providing the needy with the tools they need to secure for themselves, a home, and a brighter future here in Humboldt County.
Instead of appealing to the rich and insensitive to come together as a community, we should arm the poor and oppressed to enable their liberation. For $200 we can put a quality firearm in the hands of a needy homeless man. For $1 we can put a bullet in that gun. With a gun and some bullets, we can give homeless people the tools they need to claim their rightful home here in Humboldt County, the same way early settlers did when they first discovered this beautiful place. That is, by killing, and enslaving the people who already live here.
A lot of our homeless Vets have military training. Providing them with guns and ammunition would give them the opportunity to put that training to use here in the US, and they could train other homeless people how to work together to launch successful tactical assaults. Together, they could overcome any obstacle and rise above their current economic condition, even without the support of Humboldt County’s “Old Guard” or new rich.
Every cop we hire here in Humboldt County costs the taxpayers more than $100,000 a year, and hiring more cops has completely failed to address the problem of homelessness in Humboldt County. The Kevlar vests and semi-automatic weapons our cops carry cost a pittance by comparison. We could save a lot of money, and solve the problem of homelessness once and for all, if instead of hiring cops, we just gave the guns, ammunition and armor to to the people in the street who need them to secure their little piece of Humboldt County and participate in this proud Humboldt County tradition.
Even if we can’t raise the money locally, I’ll bet we can find foreign governments who would be happy to help us out. I know this isn’t a new idea, but I don’t think it has ever been given a fighting chance to succeed in the US before. We could be pioneers here in Humboldt County, with this new approach to solving the problem of poverty and homelessness. They’ll call it the Humboldt Revolution, and it will change the way the world sees poverty in America. It’s got to start somewhere. Why not here?